JEFFERSON CITY -Labor Day is the traditional presidential campaign kickoff; and as the first weekend in September looms, Al Gore still has not named a state campaign director in Missouri.
The Gore campaign said a director is usually named after the Democratic National Convention, but the camp has not informed the Missouri Democratic Party of it's selection for Missouri.
The Missouri Democratic Coordinated Campaign has been in place since July, but it's primary function is to help Missouri Democrats get elected, not the presidential nominee.
Naming the state director after the convention is not an unsual practice according to Alex Zaroulis, the Gore/Lieberman spokeswoman for Missouri.
Zaroulis said more federal funding, for both Republicans and Democrats, is available after the convention; and because Missouri is a hotly contested state, she does expect the Gore campaign will have a full operation in place very soon.
The lack of a director has led Republicans to speculate that Gore is conceding Missouri to the GOP.
"Looks to me like they think they don't have a chance in Missouri," said Daryl Duwe, chief spokesman for the Republican State Committee.
Meanwhile, Catherine Hanaway, a state representative from St. Louis, has been executive director for the Bush campaign in Missouri for more than a year.
Hanaway's job description includes scheduling events, carrying out directives from Bush headquarters, researching potential campaign stops and recruiting volunteers.
She said has been overwhelmed by the increasing support in the campaign. Hanaway also claims she no longer has to recruit volunteers, but now must oversee a volunteer staff of over 1000 volunteers in almost all 114 Missouri counties.